In which my obsession begins…

This post is a little longer, an 8- to 10-minute read. It captures three days in 2014 that started my love affair with backpacking. These are journal entries from the Pacific Crest Trail.
And no, I hadn’t read “Wild” first. :-)

August 16 // Saturday

I’m coming to the end of a great vacation with my extended family on the Oregon coast. Cousins, aunts, uncles, my husband and kids… we’ve spent a wonderful week relaxing, eating, laughing and walking the beaches.

forest_tree_foreground_fogThis all seems like a warm-up, though, for the main event. I have planned a 3-day extension to this family vacation to be able to do some hiking in the Oregon mountains. I had packed all my gear into two of our big suitcases, and I keep sneaking down to my room in our vacation rental home to go through it and double-check that I have everything I need.

I spent the rainy afternoon on a 5-mile walk by myself on a rainforest-like trail, which summited some nearby cliffs. It was a challenging, steep path covered with ferns and fallen trees. I came back sweaty, soggy, soaked and grinning from ear to ear. I think my family suspects I’m crazy. I can’t wait for Monday.

August 18 // Monday

Noon – I drove to Cascade Locks, along the Columbia River, after dropping off Chuck and the kids at the Portland airport and making a quick stop at REI to get bear spray and some other essentials. I’ve scoped out a 30-mile loop hike that first follows a trail well known for its many waterfalls. Then I’ll take a connector route that will bring me to the Pacific Crest Trail. I plan to follow the PCT back into Cascade Locks, and end where the PCT meets the Bridge of the Gods. Read more